Economic sociology and the study of local societies

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This essay is part of a collection of contributions promoted by the board of the Italian Sociological Association on occasion of the XXIV ISA World Congress, in order to introduce some relevant aspects of the Italian sociology to the international sociological community. It focuses the attention on one fundamental topic for sociological thoughts since its origins: the relations between economy and society. Each country has of course its historical and cultural particularities that require combining different theoretical perspectives to the analysis of the economic subsystem. According to many domestic and foreign scholars, the most features of Italian economical structure may be identified in the economic role of the family, the small scale enterprise and business, the local economies embedded in the local societies. In this sense, Italy can be seen as a privileged area of inquiry for evidencing the social foundations of the economy, i.e. the role of extra-mercantile relations in the local development. In order to explain the Italian way to diffuse capitalism, really new theoretical paradigm was improved: the “Third Italy paradigm”, the “paradigm of local development”, and the “post urban-industrial paradigm”. Social regulation of economy is a fundamental, even if invisible, resource; this regulation occurs through a mix of market and reciprocity, economical and political exchange, local political cultures and institutions.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteItalian Sociology in the Nineties
Numero di pagine42
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1998

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomeNotiziario AIS, periodico dell’Associazione Italiana di Sociologia


  • distretti industriali
  • industrial districts
  • local development
  • local societies
  • società locali
  • sviluppo locale


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